Some companies like to cap off their announcements with a bit of a crowd pleaser. Nintendo, at this E3, blew the lid off the whole shebang, by semi-casually dropping a quasi-reveal for a sequel to what might be the most influential and revered video game in the past decade with a minute and a half of mind-numbing intrigue. We knew it existed, but we didn’t know it was coming — the Breath of the Wild sequel has been announced, and the very trailer that accompanied it sent the masses quaking in their boots. Let’s break it down, shall we?
We begin with spiraling luminescence similar to that of the Sheikah shrines, though of a noticeably greener tint than their usual electric blue. The energy also appears much more freeform and wind-like, implying that it might be based in something else altogether. We then catch a zoomed out shot of a delicate array of said… green stuff spiraling around a thin pillar of darkness that’s a dead ringer for Calamity Ganon’s energy from BotW. Pretty clearly some sort of seal (and, as later evidenced, it’s located below Hyrule Castle).
A torch then passes by some ancient markings, again in the style of BotW — given the big horse and trident, it looks to be a depiction of Ganondorf. After another (top-down) shot of the seal, we catch of first glimpses of Link and (SHORT-HAIRED) Zelda, who are being carried by some sort of oxen creature (if it has a specific Hylian name I am regrettably unaware) on a spelunking expedition into the depths. Glowing stones and ruinous architecture scream “archaeological hunt.” Notably, the song playing sounds a bit like a backwards rendition of the Zelda 1 Game Over theme. (Thanks to Twitter user @Zants for the discovery!)
The two continue journeying. Link looks pretty much the same as in BotW, while (SHORT-HAIRED) Zelda looks similar yet snazzy in more adventurous gear. The dark energy engulfs a rat as the two struggle to carry the ox-creature over a bridge. Upon reaching the seal, Zelda takes a gasp of astonishment, and we finally zoom in on the zombified husk, which has a green glowy hand clutching at its chest. The Gerudo symbol is prominently featured, and the red dreadlocks certainly seem indicative of a particular King of Evil — if I were to take a measured guess, this is the original body of Ganondorf, which Calamity Ganon was a part of before breaking away and becoming a rampaging red maelstrom of malevolence.
Several shots cut rapidly: we see Link’s arm meld with green energy (does he take the hand from the husk’s chest?), darkness shooting everywhere, a cliff arm grab (Zelda falling, Link hoisting), what looks like a flashback to the sealing, the floor crumbling, and the husk twitching. Finally, the music cuts and the figure hunches backwards, its withered figure cracking its bones as its eyes grow alight with red evilness. Finally, Hyrule Castle begins rising from the ground, and a heartbeat sound thumps as the trailer’s initial shot of the green energy repeats.
A few things we can take from all this: the villain is probably Ganondorf again, or at least Ganon-related. It looks as if Zelda takes a tumble at the start while Link rises — if I had to guess, this will lead to one of three gameplay possibilities:
1) Link and the rest of Hyrule Castle float to the sky, where you’ll take control in a new Skyworld that combines Skyward Sword with Breath of the Wild.
2) Zelda watches Link soar off, and you explore mainland Hyrule again as her, in a Majora’s Mask style remix of BotW.
3) Some combination of these two things.
Of course, you could probably swap character placements and settings, and these guesses could be completely off ultimately. Look, it’s pitched as a “Breath of the Wild sequel,” it’s gonna be amazing, I can’t wait — now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to save every piece of short-haired Zelda fan art I find while sacrificing a lamb to ensure that she’s playable this time, GOODBYE.